12 Replies Latest reply on Jun 10, 2011 9:06 PM by bushrasaeed74@hotmail.com

    New School Program........Have you seen anything like this?

      Dear All

      I meet you from time to time and share with you the programs i manage in Punjab, Pakistan. Recently I finished a round of trainings with my 100 Subject Specialist across Punjab where we worked on the capacity building of our new schools. Our new school program is such that we facilitate community to build a school where there is no school within a radius of 2km you can read more about it in www.pef.edu.pk

      We had an orientation session with SS where we introduce the concpet of PBL (the detail training will be conducted in July 2010. The SS were assigned one new school and were given a project to stay in school premises for a week and help in capacity building in 3 areas, namely Administration/management, teachers' teaching and of course students learning. The teachers during their one week visit introduced PBL concept and community role and responsiblities.

      We are planning to up grade our schools with passage of time by providing them technology and DVDs so that in the absence of a qualified teachers these students should not suffer. But let me share that this is a long journey.

      I would like to invite you to take a tour of what we are doing by going through the attached files and give us your valuable suggestions what we should do next. Come and be our supporters.  This might be a totally new experience in education for many on this community...............



        • Re: New School Program........Have you seen anything like this?

          Bushra, it is amazing what you have done in a short period of time. In New York we have a lot of Public Private partnerships which bring some great resources to our students and teachers (like Intel!) It helps a lot especially with limited resources.

          You have provided so much structure to the teachers and the students to make them feel part of something special. I'm sure it means a lot to the teachers that you made sure they have supplies for 3 months ahead so they don't have to go without and you are taking care of the physcial needs of the students but having an emergency kit for them. The pride is obvious with the painting of the buildings,the posters and student work hung around the classroom and the school. It makes it appealing place to be and learn and that people care about you and that environment makes learning happen.

          Thank you for sharing your progress and ideas.

          Do the teachers have time to share some of their lessons or plan together?

          You said they are 100 SS going to different schools, do they have a common curriculum that they share or does it depend on the SS?

            • Re: New School Program........Have you seen anything like this?

              Dear JoAnn


              First of all sorry for such a late response. I was away on tours and follow ups. Before I reply to your query I would like to share some very important facts as observed in Pakistan Economic Survey 2010-2011 which are as follows


              This is also in reference to a friend who asked in another discussion about the education system in Pakistan. May be this information help her.

              • In Pakistan more than half of rural children are 3 grades behind in reading English and Urdu.
              • 16000 schools have no building
              • more than 53000 had no boundary walls
              • 54000 had no provision of clean drinking water
              • 58000 schools have no bathrooms
              • 100,000 had no electricity

              Above all Govt. reduced development budget to 9.2 billion in 2011 from 11.3 b in 2009 and 16.4 b in 2008


              Literacy rate age above 10 n above is 57.7% (69.5 male and 45.2 female) Higher in urban 73.2 and lower in rural areas 49.2


              We at PEF, are working with low cost private schools. at present we are looking after 2200 schools of punjab. The education is route learning and copying from board. Being an Intel ST, my target is to show the children a picture of world through technology and we are planning to pilot Connecting Classroom project in one of our district this year with collaboration with British Council in Pakistan.


              As far as my previous email is concerned, we have made sure that teachers maintained a list of lessons plans (though it is very simple at this stage but we progress with time) to share with fellow teachers, head teachers and PEF representatives on visit.


              All SS had an action plan (i took the idea from Elements Action plan). Before going to the field they assembled for orientation of the task and were divided in groups of 6-8 to make an action plan for the school improvement plan in short and long run to achieve. they all made their action plan and presented on their tun. They had the liberty to modify or add anything they observed or did case to case. Since we follow Punjab Text book Curriculum it was not difficult to plan the academics.


              I will definitely share the final report with way ahead. Here is another report for your kind perusal and furhter comments. You will notice the issue of children cramming, teachers not following lesson plan, teachers discourage questioning etc


              One day on this community I attend to share that these children are using technology and working on PBL.




            • Re: New School Program........Have you seen anything like this?

              Bushra, I echo all that JoAnn has said. What a fantastic transformation.  Your students will definitely be the winners.  In looking at the academic PDF you have attached, I noticed that you records are all kept on paper.  Has there been any discussion about using something like an Excel spreadsheet for record keeping?  I know you don't yet have all the technology you need.  How long do you think it might take to start inserting technology into your classrooms?  Do your teachers have access to any of the technology?  The picture of your students in the "My Reward" PDF speaks volumes.  That is why, no matter where we live, we do what we do. 


              You have done an amazing job!  Keep up the great work and keep us informed.



                • Re: New School Program........Have you seen anything like this?

                  Thank you Neil. You will be amazed to know that it was a big effort to bring these teachers from paper work to proper registers and record keeping. These teachers have heard about computers but have no exposure of working on computers. This year we have requested in our budget to allow to give them one or two computers for communication and record keeping purposed. At some places internet facility is not available. But we are keen that at least one computer to be allocated so that there is proper record keeping in ths schools.


                  If approved this year we will definitely go into getting started sort of training with more emphasis on excel for record keeping and sharing as funds of these schoold will be given to them when they follow our guidelines. So we hope that in 2012 we will be able to do so.......we have to wait for approvals.


                  I am proud of my Subject Specialists who have gone to these far off areas and did great jobs and brought us the outcome for which we started. A great news is that we have already seek approval to keep it continue for follow ups as welll as to go to even larger number of schools this year.


                  In our next follow up session we will allow our SS to carry a laptop to the schools and show them things that could be done on computers. the idea is to create awareness and inspiration among administration, teachers and students. I am invited my SS to join the community. I am also encouraging them to go for PBL elements in July.


                  We will keep you updated!




                • Job well done!
                  Bonnie Feather

                  Bushra, I weep. 

                  • in happiness, for the success you have had
                  • in sadness, for the previous conditions
                  • in happiness, for the future of these children
                  • in sadness, for the community with little education opportunity
                  • in great happiness, for the support you have to do such work!


                  I am wanting to know a little about the curriculum- I see there is science being taught.  Is literacy a focus for the students?  Is there a progression from the younger classes to the older students?


                  Thank you for posting of your school success!  I wonder if more support is needed?  What else do you need?


                  With high regard and much respect for you,



                    • Re: Job well done!

                      Dear Bonnie Feather


                      Believe it or not i often do the same myself. I cry, i rejoice, i cry again.


                      We follow our Punjab Text Book Board Curriculum (it is followed across all the  Government schools of PUnjab across 36 districts). Yes Science is taught from class one. It is called General Science. From grade 1 to 8 there is one book, from grade 9 there are separte books for bio, chemistry and physics, students have option to opt for Science or Arts for matriculation (passing grade 10 to get admission in college)


                      Our aim and mandate is to ensure that each of our student should complete matric (till grade 10).  We keep thinking ways to reduce drop out rate from schools and from this year we have introduced a new initiative to "Make Matric More Attractive" by the name Skill Development Program", we are introducing pre-vocational and pre- technical skills to encourage students to learn skills during summer vocations or after school so that they can feel indepedent and respect blue collar jobs as well. We are planning to support students in vocational and technical education after matric if they would like to pursue career in that field.


                      I am sorry I did not understand your last query. May be you mean that if we have older students in junior classes, yes it is happening. I don't know you will be surprised that in 2-3 schools we have young mothers persistant to sit in their siblings classes Nursery, preps becasue they want to learn as well along with their kids. we allow because these mothers help in taking care of children along with teachers.


                      As far as financial support is required our government of Punjab through Punjab Education Foundation is very particular that the funds we get for education our spent in the right directions and we follow strictly. I will not say that there is no corruption but thanks to God it is very very low. Our Chairman Raja Anwar had made a rule that if any of his employee is found eating or drinking at partner schools on their expence his/her 2 months salary will be spent on PEF school expenses or given as charity. He himself uses an old model car and does not charge a penny to PEF. Hence I am proud to share that here we work and move. We are on yearly contract, we work, we progress, we stop working, we are out.....


                      As far as technical support is required, yes we do need ideas as to how we can make our schools a better place with or without technology. So please sharing inputs. It is my commmittment that one day these schools will have technology and link with outside world as well.





                        • Re: Job well done!


                          It is wonderful to hear that the mothers are in school with their young children. I think it would help the children and the mothers. We have some programs where the mothers go to school with the children but they spend part of the day learning information for themselves as well as learning to take care of their children.

                          It sounds like your financial and human resources are going to the right places. It takes everyone to pitch in and more people are willing to contribute financially when they they know it is going to the education of the children. One of the best ways that I've seen to improve schools is the communication between teachers and sharing knowledge and strategies and trying to learn what is going on at many different levels. I just did an Intel Elements Assessment training and we had teachers at all grade levels and the sharing of ideas was wonderful and we just don't do it enough. Keep us posted.

                            • Re: Job well done!



                              Though Pakistan is the 9th largest English Speaking Country in the world but the NSP schools I am dealing are in villages where English in the third language. The intel content development team should think how they can pick and prepare students, teachers and schools from grass root level to the the point where most of the teachers, schools are at on this community. I would love that educationists from around the world should come and visit our schools and then help us design trainings that can be implemented for targeted outcome and achievements. The trainings should be level wise, where during each interval the follow up on trainings and trainee is strictly observed along with infrastructure faciliation. It is not easy but if tried will worth the effort.


                              Thank you for taking interest in our Program proceedings. I will keep you posted as we have got approval from our authority based on this benchmark to hit other NSP schools as well and set performance indicators for ourselves as well as NSP schools. Our reports are pouring in and i have invited by best SS team to join our community as well. In the first phase I am trying to have my SS go through the elements training in July so that when the visit NSP schools they share portion of elements with local teachers in their language and observe its impact with students. I have another program where we are also planning camp trainings to get quick results in short and long run.


                              Attach is another report from another NSP school by an SS for you perusal.



                            • School in Pakistan
                              Bonnie Feather

                              I am so happy to hear that corruption is low and that the curriculum is good.  I agree that technology is important, but first of all, there must be good education available to all.  We need to foster more respect for blue collar jobs here- and be sure that the workers are paid a reasonable wage for it on which they can support their family.


                              I wonder if it might be any help to offer correspondence with some of your students?  Some of us might be able to write a letter to a student on an online site you can access, and you could print it out, have them read, and you could then take dictation for a reply from them.  This Engage site is probably not the best place to do it, but I would be happy to set up a site where we might do this.  I have in mind that such communication may motivate some students.



                                • Re: School in Pakistan

                                  The idea is worth trying. I have requested my team to join the community. I first invited them in March, i kept encouraging them and finally today 12 have joined the community out of 100 (TICSS group). I think they need time to get used to the community and people there willing and eager to help. Once their confidence level is built and they feel comfortable, some of them may follow the lead and start a group on google or as you direct to share letters from people on community and students and teachers across NSP schools in Punjab.

                                  In the meantime, if you would like to share anything with my students, i will make sure that it reaches them and is answered.



                            • Re: New School Program........Have you seen anything like this?

                              What an amazing transformation in both the physical building and the organziation.  I was moved by seeing the teacher and then a student up at the white board sharing with other students contrasted to the teacher sitting and reading.  I wondered if the photos of the building being painted showed community support as well?   And, your reward of smiling children was wonderful.  I hope you can continue to share the story of this school and others with us over the school year.  I am sure there will be many stories of new successes as they move forward.

                                • Re: New School Program........Have you seen anything like this?

                                  Yes  Carol it is indeed quite amazing. I served as senior trainer for Intel Teach for 9 years. I went to well established (model) govt. schools with ICT labs and elite private Enlish Medium School of Punjab Province. Recently working with low cost private schools revealed how much is there to be done in education. I love Intel PBL approach. It was only through the awareness that we could make teachers realized that it is not for them only to sage the stage, but they have to allow students to work in groups, research, analyse and then stand in front of the class to share what they learnt themselves.


                                  We cannot achieve any target without the support of the community. The community supported us because they want us to educate their children. I will share the reports as we progress. We will be revisiting these schools in 4 months time to follow up on what we trained them to do. We are convincing our administration to atleast allocate a computer to each school for administrative documentation. Lets see if we are able to convince them! Providing computer is not the issue but the maintenance responsibility and ownership is problem.